Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anger never gets anything accomplished. Unfortunately, some situations just get the better (or worse) of you. So it is with me and Berlin. I haven't been able to find anything here of real interest, and leaving all the people at home (family and friends) is not conducive to good feelings.

And trying to watch television, when the only English language channels are CNN and BBC, and what is carried is the news, makes it particularly depressing. Arte and Bloomberg alternate on the same channel, with Arte coming on at 2 o'clock in the afternoon; but that leaves the morning with Bloomberg, with all this financial news crap which is even more depressing. How can one sit and listen to the fatuities of someone who is now head of Bank of America, when his previous jobs included being head of Morgan Stanley and, before that, Lehman Brothers? Why is it that certain people can fail upwards? Isn't there a limit to incompetence?

It should be apparent: i have never been alone in my life. I started out as a twin, so even from birth, i was not alone. And i met Larry in my sophomore year (when i was 18) and we've been together since then. I always have a support system of people.

And i've never been away from home (that is: New York City) for more than three months tops. And to be in this strange city: i keep waiting to find the true center of the city, the place where there are all the art galleries and the interesting art people and the fascinating conversations. I guess what i'm waiting for is for Berlin to turn into the city of my youth.

Did i know New York City was wonderful when i was experiencing it? I think i did. Christine and Debby tell me that i always knew things to go to (walking up those stairs to get to the loft to hear Phil Glass's early concerts; going to all those different places for Charlotte Moorman's Annual Avant-Garde Festivals; seeing dances by Trisha Brown or Simone Forti at art galleries).

Obviously, Berlin isn't that, but i'm looking for some sense of camaraderie. I never realized it, but so many of those events we went to had small audiences. 50 to 100 people packed into a space to listen to Charlemagne Palestine: that's actually not a lot.

Yet it seemed enough for us. Of course, i was always skeptical, and so many of those people just seemed so fatuous, and i often couldn't resist the wisecrack.

But the isolation is killing. Actually Shigeko Kubota (years ago) warned me about it: when she had her DAAD grant, she felt like she was being punished, by being sent to Berlin. I know what she means.


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